LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Nearly 50 years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a Huntington Beach native
is sharing his unique pen-pal relationship with the priest who gave the president his last rites.
Rex Davenport was only 10 years old when JFK was gunned down on Nov. 22, 1963.
"I was hearing a massive amount of crying ... and discontent .... and sadness, everywhere," Davenport said.
Like so many, Davenport has never forgotten that fateful afternoon.
"I started collecting news articles; cut them out from daily newspapers," he said.
Although Davenport was young, he was convinced JFK's killing was part of a conspiracy. His mission at the time? To find the minister who gave the president his last rites.
"I came across the name of Rev. Oscar L. Huber from Texas. And I said, 'You know what? I think I'm going to write him,'" Davenport said. "I was basically telling him, I said, 'I really believe there was more than one man that shot John Fitzgerald Kennedy.'"
Davenport started to write to Huber, but his letters were sent back.
He continued to write to the reverend until he finally got an answer -- after five years.
Davenport was elated that someone could finally answer his questions on the assassination.
In one letter, Huber wrote, in part, "My dear Friend: In the inclosed [sic] documents you can read just what I saw and did when I gave the last Rites [sic] to the President, John F. Kennedy. He certainly was apparently dead—I saw no sign of life in him. His forehead was covered with blood—his eyes were closed as if he were asleep. When I returned from the hospital to the Rectory, I heard that three shots were fired from a window, an upper window, in the Book Depository building. Later, three empty shells were found at this window and a gun bearing Oswald's fingerprints. It was some time after the assassination before I heard that shots from other directions were supposed to have been fired. This will have to be proven to me beyond doubt before I will accept it. My dear young man, I hope I haven't offended you by writing as I did, but I wrote just what I think happened."
Huber and Davenport traded more letters through the years.
Davenport was planning on meeting Huber in Missouri, where the reverend relocated.
Unfortunately, Huber died in 1975 before Davenport could make that trip.
Davenport's fascination with the Kennedy family continued. For five decades, he has been designing stamps of the Kennedys and other dignitaries.
He has received thank-you letters from the Kennedy family for his work. One stamp has been archived at the JFK Library in Boston.
This year, Davenport created special commemorative stamps honoring President Kennedy and his wife, Jackie.
"John Fitzgerald Kennedy represented the best of all of us. The best. No one is perfect. But he represented the best of America," Davenport said.
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